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Julian's Journey - An Unexpected Paralysis

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Dear Friends,
On July 25, 2021, the unimaginable and unthinkable happened to our family. Julian became fully paralyzed within a very short 2 hours. Our lives were turned upside down and inside out by this event. As a result of this challenging and unexpected event, we are reaching out to ask for help. It is hard for me to write this and ask but managing our new family reality comes with many associated costs including adapting our house to make it accessible for Julian.
Julian is currently paralyzed from the waist down and at GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre in Vancouver learning how to adjust to life in his new body. Our two daughters and I have been travelling to Vancouver whenever we can. We are hoping to bring Julian home October 22. That date marks almost 12 weeks in hospital. Julian has been very self-disciplined with his rehab and his spirits have remained high. Not a surprise for those of you who know Julian, he has maintained a positive attitude and continues to be strong for his family. All that being said, we still do not know what the future holds.
What Happened?
On July 25th, Julian started feeling a tingling and numbness in his left foot. This quickly progressed up his left leg and then started on his right foot and travelled up his right leg. Within two hours, Julian could not walk or stand. He was rushed to Penticton Regional Hospital where he assessed and was then transferred by Ambulance to Kelowna General Hospital. Julian remained in Kelowna for three weeks before he was able to be transferred back to Penticton Regional Hospital so he could be closer to home. A few weeks later, he was then transferred to GF Strong in Vancouver to take part in a vital rehabilitation program.
Julian's paralysis occurred 12 days after his second vaccination. As a result of the timing, the Neurologist in Penticton became concerned that Julian had developed a myelitic form of post-vaccinal acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM). This condition is characterized by a brief but widespread attack of inflammation in the brain and spinal cord that damages myelin, the protective covering of nerve fibres.
Julian has swelling on his spine at the T7 - T8 area of his back which is producing the paralysis. With two rounds of steroids and IVIG therapy, some swelling has gone down and we're hoping and praying that over time, Julian will regain full mobility. To date, Julian's mobility has not returned.
With that being said, it has been an extremely emotional and terrifying time for our family. We are doing our best to stay strong and positive. Julian is navigating his new body with the strength and focus of an athlete. The girls and I are also learning to help Julian adapt to this new reality in any way we can.
We've set some fundraising goals to help cover some of the key items required to adapt our home for a wheelchair and other items to help Julian. We are fortunate that our private health insurance covers a few items but not all.
Goal #1
Cover for the remainder cost of his wheelchair that is not covered by our health insurance.
Goal #2
Installation of a vertical platform lift so Julian can easily access the upstairs of our home where our kitchen, living, dining, bedroom and bathroom are located and other associated home adaptions such as wheelchair ramps.
Goal #3
Travel, medical supplies and other associated medical costs including therapies not covered by extended health.
Goal #4
Adaptive wheelchair specific equipment to help aid Julian with his recovery. This will help with both psychological and physiological benefits.
Any funds raised above and beyond our goal would be put towards other items Julian may need such as a vehicle modification and a hand pedal bike as he loves cycling. When Julian regains his mobility, and we all believe he will, any remaining funds or equipment no longer needed will be donated to a Spinal Cord Injury program or the Penticton Regional Hospital Rehabilitation Program.
Your generosity means the world to us as it will help alleviate some of the financial stress that comes with an unexpected situation like this. Thank you for keeping us in your hearts, thoughts and prayers. And thank you for all the positive messages of support.
On behalf of Julian, Emma, Thea and me, we would like to extend a very big heartfelt thank you for all the love and support during this very difficult time.
XO Angela


  • Anonymous
    • $20 
    • 2 yrs
  • Pat Reid
    • $500 
    • 2 yrs
    • $25 
    • 2 yrs
  • Lauren Weber
    • $25 
    • 2 yrs
  • Carolyn Patrick
    • $500 
    • 2 yrs


Angela Scholefield
Summerland, BC

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